Property Questions Answered

02 April 2021

What is the property market like just now?

The opening up of the market at the end of June 2020 saw an immediate and what has proved to be sustained, mini-property boom. It could have been anticipated that the numbers of properties coming to the market would be significant, but what perhaps was not anticipated was the extent of pent-up demand among buyers that has fuelled a marketplace where, in many areas, supply has struggled to keep up with demand. That has led to an increase in prices which in some areas of Scotland, including Edinburgh and the Borders , have been significant. In Dundee and Angus, the year on year average price rise to the end of December, was 6.8%. Closing dates abound and to date, the market for properties from the smaller flat to the top end home remains extremely busy, with sales only restricted by the number of homes coming to the market. Stocks of properties are currently low, with many potential sellers understandably reluctant to come to the market whilst the present restrictions remain in force. Demand from buyers, however, remains undiminished.

Is now a good time for first time buyers to buy a house?

First time buyers have played a large part in driving the market. Part of this has been due to the availability of Government Assistance through the Help to Buy ISA scheme whereby the Government would “top up” a first time buyer’s deposit by 25% of the amount saved. That scheme is, unfortunately, now closed to new savers, though it has been replaced in part by the (slightly less attractive)  Lifetime ISA  scheme. The First Homes Fund (a secured, share equity scheme) set up by the Scottish Government to assist first time buyers by providing cash of up to £25,000.00 to assist in the purchase of a first home, proved hugely popular. The scheme was closed to applications in October, but has now re-opened for applications to assist with purchases that will complete on or after 1st April 2021. Funding is limited to £60m. in the financial year 2020/21, and that sum is unlikely satisfy demand through al of those 12 months. The Scottish Government announced in its budget statement last week that, unfortunately, Government assistance for first time buyers remains available under the Help to Buy New Build Scheme was being withdrawn. Assistance may also available (where funding has not been exhausted) to First Time Buyers (and certain other designated groups) under the LIFT Open Market Shared Equity Scheme. Funding is limited and is subject to maximum price thresholds that are fixed by reference to the number of rooms in the house being purchased, and the area within which it is being purchased.

More information on these schemes, and assistance with Applications, is available from Mortgage Advisers.

A significant concern for first time buyers is the deposit. And increasing prices means larger deposits. There was a concern last year when some of the major mortgage lenders pulled their maximum lending back to 85% of the value of the property being purchased. Finding 15% of the value of the property (plus, quite possibly in the current market, the sum necessary to pay a premium over valuation to secure a property) means finding a significant sum. Fortunately, most lenders have reversed their policy and will now lend 90% (and in some cases, more) of value. Mortgages are relatively cheap because interest rates are so low. Costs can be fixed by choosing fixed-rate products to protect against rising interest rates in the short to medium term. There is never a bad time to get onto the property ladder but if there is  a word of caution for first time buyers, it is that that they do not pay an inflated price for a property that, as a first home, they may themselves be looking to sell again in 3 or 4 years time.

Can I move house during lockdown?

Buyers and sellers may understandably think that the First Minister’s statements referring “lockdown” automatically meant the near-closure of the property market, as was the case when we went into lockdown last March. That is not, however, the case. All activities associated with moving house are still permitted, provided all relevant guidelines relating to social distancing, and ensuring that the risk of transmission of the virus is minimised, are adhered to.

So, houses can still be appraised. Home Report inspections can still be carried out. Homes can be brought to the market. Viewings are permitted (though wherever possible, virtual viewings are to be used and encouraged). Offers can be made and accepted. Mortgage applications can be processed. Home moves can still take place (including cross-border moves).

2021

How much can I afford to borrow? 2021-10-20 Nine Steps to Selling Your Home 2021-10-18 Climbing the Property Ladder 2021-10-11 Fire Alarm Laws are Changing in Scotland 2021-09-27 Research You Should Conduct Before Buying a Property 2021-09-20 The LIFT Scheme and How You Can Use It To Buy a Home 2021-09-17 The Latest Scottish Government Guidance on Property Viewings 2021-09-10 NORMAL SERVICE BEING RESUMED IN A BUOYANT HOMES MARKET 2021-08-31 Should You Refurbish Your Property? 2021-08-18 Preparing Your Home for a Successful Sale 2021-08-13 Mortgage Interest Rates - What are they? 2021-08-09 Helping You Consider the Right Location for Your Next Move 2021-07-26 Tips For First Time Buyers To Help Get Them on the Property Ladder 2021-07-19 Scotland's First Home Fund is Closed, What Other Schemes Can Help First Time Buyers? 2021-07-12 Retirement Interest Only Mortgages - What You Need To Know 2021-07-07 How the UK Mortgage Market Has Changed Due to Coronavirus 2021-06-30 How To Boost Your Mortgage Deposit 2021-06-21 New Rules For Fire and Smoke Alarms in Homes Across Scotland 2021-06-17 Preparing To Put Your House on the Market in 5 Key Steps 2021-06-14 How Much Mortgage Can I Get For My Salary? 2021-06-09 How Long Does it Take to Buy Your First House or Flat? 2021-06-02 Is Your House Ready to be Sold?: House Selling Checklist 2021-05-31 What is a Mortgage Agreement in Principle? 2021-05-25 All You Need To Know About EPC Registers and Certificates 2021-05-19 Making the Most of House Viewings 2021-05-12 How the Coronavirus Pandemic has Changed the Priorities of Scottish Home Buyers 2021-05-05 Top Tips on Preparing to Buy a House 2021-04-26 What You Need To Know About Overpaying a Mortgage 2021-04-21 Advice on Buying a Property During the Covid-19 Pandemic 2021-04-14 How the UK Mortgage Market Has Changed Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic 2021-04-13 Scotland's First Home Fund: Applications Now Closed 2021-04-09 Scotland's First Home Fund 2021-04-07 Scottish Stamp Duty Holiday: How Did LBTT Change and When Did it End? 2021-04-06 Property Questions Answered 2021-04-02

2020

Tayside housing market back with a bang 2020-12-10 Digital Guide 2020-05-27

2019

The property market across Scotland - Quarter Two 2019 by SPC Scotland 2019-10-16 LORD PROVOST OPENS NEW-LOOK CENTRE 2019-09-17 The Dundee property market 2019-06-24 A 427 MILLION BOOST FOR THE HOMES MARKET 2019-01-21

2018

Budget Proposals to the ADS Rate 2018-12-18 BUYING OR SELLING GET THE FACTS 2018-08-24 BUYING INTO LIFE ON THE WATERFRONT 2018-08-23 As moving day looms dont panic just prep 2018-05-17 THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS FOR HOMEBUYERS 2018-04-03 HOME COMFORTS FEND OFF BEAST FROM THE EAST 2018-03-07 V&A DATE MILESTONE FOR THE WATERFRONT 2018-03-02 FLAT SALES EDGE TOWARDS £100 MILLION 2018-01-23 PROPERTY SALES PUSH TOWARDS THE £440 MILLION MARK 2018-01-08

2017

FESTIVE GREETINGS FROM ALL AT THE TSPC 2017-12-19 PUTTING DUNDEE ON THE MAP 2017-11-15 TIME TO BRING YOUR HOME TO THE MARKET 2017-11-01 AUTUMN IS A GOOD SEASON FOR SELLING 2017-10-17 HIGH PROFILE OPTION FOR TOP PROPERTIES 2017-10-09 MARKETING YOUR PROPERTY TO THE MAX 2017-08-21 DO YOU LIKE TO BE BESIDE THE SEA? 2017-06-15 TIME LOOMING FOR A RE-MORTGAGE 2017-06-09 HAS THERE BEEN A BETTER TIME FOR A HOUSE SALE 2017-05-26 TIME TO PUT YOUR FLAT ON THE MARKET 2017-05-04

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TSPC is the trading name of TSPC Holdings Limited, a limited liability company registered in Scotland No 279747 and Tayside Solicitors Property Centre Limited, a limited liability company registered in Scotland No 279746. The Registered Office of both Companies is 11 Whitehall Crescent, Dundee DD1 4AR.

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